Distant Relatives Tour – Giving Hope and Help
By M. Peggy Quattro
Photo by Alex Markow
Miami, FL – Two brothers by different mothers, Damian Marley and Nas have set the summer concert season on fire. The Distant Relatives tour, touted by its stars as a family affair, is getting rave reviews while the dynamic duos CD by-the-same-name is charting worldwide.
The Distant Relatives CD debuted in May 2010 at #5 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling a reported 57,000 copies its first week. Reviews have labeled the lyrics inspiring and its production convincing. The CD also shot onto to Billboards Rap, Digital Album, R&B/Hip-Hop, and Reggae charts, where it sits at #1 today. The joint venture, two years in production, was produced by brothers Damian and Stephen Marley, with Stephen leading the way and leaving his indelible mark throughout the 13-track CD. A bonus iTunes track, featuring Reggae’s Junior Reid, is an added treat. Several singles have topped the iTunes and UK Singles Charts, and the song Strong Will Continue, is featured on the 2010 FIFA World Cup video game.
Musicians, playing on live instruments, include the Marleys long-time riddim team of Chris Meredith on bass and Squidly Cole on drums. Shia Coore, son of Third World guitarist Cat Coore, is featured on the CD as well as touring as bassist, and Reggae veteran Paul Fakourie is featured on keyboards. Continue reading →
Hollywood, CA – July 29, 2010 – The line to get into Club Cabana was a block long. I had never seen this before for a Jamaica Live performance from any artist. Obviously, Gyptian’s hit single “Hold Yuh” was making its way onto the radio playlists and the public was responding. Luckily, I ran into the Jamaica Live publicist, Russell Gerlach, and was escorted through the crowd into the stage room. Give thanks! I would never have gotten a good spot for photos otherwise.
Gyptian took to the stage around 1:00 a.m. to the screams of scantily clad girls who were jammed against the stage. The girls had their sexiest moves on as they reached out to touch the young, popular star. He was sporting a new hair style with his locks tightly braided in rows to the nape of his neck. Continue reading →
Inside the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival
Words and photos by M. Peggy Quattro
The 8th annual Jerk Fest was a major success, rammed with more than 15,000 South Florida fans and 60 food, art and crafts, and corporate booths. The weather was perfect and Markham Park, a beautiful spacious park in west Broward County, was overflowing with family fun, food, and live music.
The fest began at 10 a.m. and the music kicked off around 5PM. The Benaiah Band backed the opening acts, which included LG and Ambilique, before veteran musician, performer and producer Dean Fraser thrilled the crowd with his stellar tenor and soprano sax talents on such standards as “I Believe in You and Me” and “Dance with My Father Again.” Continue reading →
THE HARDER THEY COME – OPENING NIGHT BENEFITS THE JAMAICAN CHILDREN’S HEART FUND
By M. Peggy Quattro
Photos by Lynn Dearing
The Jamaican Children’s Heart Fund (JCHF) successfully benefited from the opening night performance of the smash hit musical, The Harder They Come, based on Perry Henzell’s legendary 1972 movie starring Jimmy Cliff. The South Florida-based JCHF sold hundreds of tickets for the Sat., August 29, 2009, performance at the beautiful Ziff Ballet Opera House, inside Arsht Performing Arts Centre, Miami, FL, and a portion of the ticket price went to this worthy cause.
For the hundreds of Jamaicans, Americans, and international patrons in attendance, the cast of The Harder They Come sang and danced their way into the hearts of the cheerful crowd. Live music was provided by an outstanding band of live musicians cleverly positioned as part of the stage set. Together with the entire cast, they performed popular songs from the original movie that have become world-famous anthems include “Many Rivers To Cross,” “You Can Get It If You Really Want,” “Pressure Drop,” “Sweet and Dandy,” and “Sitting in Limbo.” The audience was brought to their feet to sing along when the cast came on stage to end the show with a rousing version of “The Harder They Come.” Continue reading →
Set to Deliver Spiritual Healing
By Tina Pace
Ranked in the top 100 of Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, Lee “Scratch” Perry considers himself a new being, anxious to spread the healing, spiritual energy of his music at DubFest, Sept. 5, in Hollywood, Florida.
At the ripe age of 73 years young, Scratch Perry’s outlook is fresher than ever. When asked how the youth will respond to his show, he replied, “people seek redemption through the show. They want spiritual healing, spiritual music.” Perry will be returning to his home country of Jamaica to “refresh and restart” himself. Perry’s passion for life and nature is evident in his songs and through his words. He warns not to curse from where you came or burn any bridges because, in the end, everything comes back full-circle.
Once a self-proclaimed cannibal, Scratch says, “I changed my being and returned to myself and from the animal race.” He accepts the spiritual blessings in his life and rejects the unnecessary material existence in his world, “Rock stone is my chair,” he claims, “silver and gold is nothing. God is nature and God punishes them that are filled with greed.” Continue reading →
Gregory Isaacs, John Holt and Frankie Paul – Classic Reggae!
Great Vocalists Rule at the Jamaica Vintage Independence Celebration
Review by M. Peggy Quattro
Photos by Lynn Dearing and M. Peggy Quattro
Ft. Lauderdale, FL – The Jamaica Vintage Music Fest is becoming one of the must-see shows in South Florida. In celebration of Jamaica’s Independence, a group of the island’s finest singers came together for a night of true niceness.
From Rock Steady to Dancehall to the Cool Ruler himself, Club Cinema was packed with an all-ages audience eager for the music and ready to dance! Continue reading →